Senators Disagree Over Pay Cut

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President of the Senate and Chairman of National Assembly

Senate in plenary session
By Nuel Suji, Abuja.‎
Proposal to slash downward the lawmakers salaries and allowances hit the rock Tuesday, as Senators in a closed door session kicked against the move.

But,the Chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye said that lawmakers are ready to reduce their salaries and allowances for the development of the nation.

After, the closed door session, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki announced that senate in the closed session deliberated on the report of finance Committee and agreed to step it down for further legislative input.

Senate deliberations were hampered by the fact that senate budget is lumped into the total budget of the National Assembly.

Many senators who spoke at the closed session gave reason while it will be difficult to slash the budget of National Assembly considering the weight of responsibility on them.

The lawmakers also added that it is impossible for Senate alone to cut the budget of National Assembly because not less than six agencies are under the National Assembly.

The  agencies involved in legislative business like House of Representative, National Assembly Management, National Assembly Service Commission, Nigerian Instititue of Legislative Studies, Public Conduct Commission and others.

Senator Melaye said that senate in its wisdom decided to stand down further considerations on the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the Finances of the Senate pending full consultations with all stake holders.

Senator Melaye revealed that for over 6 years now, the budget of the National Assembly has always been around 150b naira but in 2015 NASS budget proposal is 120b naira which saves the country 30b naira.

The Senate said that senators are willing to make sacrifices for public good since they represent the people and share their pains.

He admitted the fact that public officers can sacrifice parts of their salaries which will be paid back into the national treasury and used to finance other national needs.

The senate spokesman said that salary slash does not run foul of the provisions of salaries and wages commission citing example with President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo and even Kaduna State governor, Nasiru El-Rufai who have slashed

The spokesman of the Senate said, “Senate will conclude on the matter after due consultations to ensure that Senate, House of Reps and other agencies of National Assembly are on the same page.”

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